Instagram today announced the launch of a new Stories feature called "Close Friends" that allows you to share stories with a select group of people rather than all your followers.
Starting today, you can make a close friends list on Stories and share with just the people you've added. Instagram Stories has become the place to express yourself and share everyday moments, but our community has grown and sometimes what you want to share isn't for everyone. With Close Friends, you have the flexibility to share more personal moments with a smaller group that you choose.
The feature works through follower suggestions based on who you interact with most, or via a contact search, from which you can then build the list for sharing Stories with fewer people.
You can find the list by going to your Instagram profile and tapping Close Friends in the side menu. When you go to share a Story, a new option appears to share it with only the people on your close friends list.
It's worth noting that Close Friends is a private list, so other users can't see it in your profile or request to be added to it, so you can switch up your selection at any time without the risk of retaliatory unfriending.
The only indication that your part of someone's Close Friends list is that you'll see a green badge when viewing stories shared to the list. There's also a green ring around the user's profile in the Stories tray.
As TechCrunch notes, the feature plays on the idea of "Finstagrams," or fake Instagram accounts that teens sometimes create to share posts to select friends without having to worry about about being judged by their wider peer group.
This latest addition to the Facebook-owned photo-based social network comes at a time when more and more people are moving from Facebook, which has come in for sustained criticism for its poor user privacy safeguards as well as a perceived lack of effort to protect user data, combat social media addiction, and prevent the spread of fake news.
Close Friends is rolling out globally today on the latest version of the Instagram app for iOS. [Direct Link]